August 26, 1960
On the big screen that Friday night you could have watched
Elmer Gantry, Psycho or Sink the Bismarck
– or you could have caught a twin bill at the Skyline Drive-In featuring Brigitte
Bardot - or a Rock Hudson triple feature at the Twilight Drive-In.
If you were a NFL fan you could have been at Johnson Haggood
Stadium in Charleston
for a match up between the Baltimore Colts and St.Louis Browns. Arnie Palmer would take the lead at the
Milwaukee Open competing for a $30,000 purse. On the local sports scene, the
Columbia Reds and Asheville Tourists were battling for the division crown. Chico Ruiz would steal a couple bases as the
Reds pulled ½ game behind the Charlotte Hornets.
Earlier that day you may have viewed one the $500 lots at Lake Murray. A 2 bedroom, one carport house sold for
$62.98 over 72 months. You may have
shopped a little that afternoon. Girls
saddle shoes were $3.00 a pair, boys jeans were a $1.95, and you could have had
brought home King Crab from Winn Dixie ($1.10 a pound).
That night you could have been glued to one of the 4 channels
in the Columbia
area as the 17th Olympics opened or just perhaps have been lassoed
to the set with Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp or Rawhide (Clint Eastwood as Rowdy
Then, again you could
have been one the 5,000 at the first SPORTSARAMA at Memorial
Stadium. Mike Derrick of Brookland-Cayce would score
the first ever touchdown with a 95 yard punt return. B-C would move to the Olympia 10 yard line only to see the Red
Devils hold the Bearcats as time ran out to end the first quarter of
After the Brookland-Cayce Olympia match Eau Claire and Lower Richland
would take the field. Quarterback Thomas
Ray’s boot leg was the first TD from scrimmage and Eau Claire’s Buddy Robinson’s extra point
would be the first kicking PAT in a SPORTSARAMA game. Larry Sharpe would add another Shamrock
touchdown on a 32 yard run. A Hornet charge led by Odell Belger would fall
short as time elapsed.
At half time, the Brookland-Cayce Marching Band, the
national championship band, would entertain the crowd.
After the halftime, A.C. Flora, fielding its first football
team, would play Dentsville. QB Buzzy Canup and the Falcon backfield marched 80
and 75 yards in their first 2 drives. With fullback Charles Farrell and
halfbacks Coot Wood, Larry Hedgepath and Donnie Dunlap pounding the lines
Hedgepath and Dunlap would tally the Falcon scores from 5 and 10 yards out.
Columbia High and Dreher closed out the night. Columbia QB Mike Ritchie would direct the
Caps on a 70 yard, 13 play drive with
backs Jimmy Boatwright, Tommy Odum and Jerry Derrick. Jimmy Boatwright scored from the 1. Tommy Odum added the PAT. A Blue Devil scoring drive ended on the 1
yard line with two great defensive stops as time out.
The scoring stats are always easy to note for a game but
there are other plays that were key. Olympia’s
Boogie Gamble recovered the first fumble, Lem Stubblefield and Charles McDonald
threw key blocks in Derrick’s 95 yard TD return, and Columbia High’s Roy Dutton
and Buddy Heddy made a key stop to hold Dreher from scoring in the final
seconds of the game.
would be the recipient of first the School Spirit Award.
The night’s match up would feature coaches who would go on
to make an impact in the community and coaching profession. Harry Parone of Dentsville would later be
honored by Spring Valley in naming their
football stadium as the Harry Parone Stadium, the SPORTSARAMA spirit award
would later be named after Dreher coach and Richland 1 Athletic Director
Charlie Stuart. Art Baker of Eau Clair
would later be the head coach at Furman, The Citadel and East Carolina and
serve as the Director of the University
of South Carolina’s Gamecock
Club – and be inducted in the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame (Art and a few others
with SPORTSARAMA connections are in the SCAHF).
The Public Address that night and for several years would be handled by
a young broadcaster who made a career that would make him know as “The Voice”
of the Gamecocks, Bob Fulton.
In 1961, Miss.Theo McGimsey of Eau Claire would be the first Miss.
SPORTSARAMA. Later years would see a
change to King and Queen and to Mr. and Miss SPORTSARAMA. The game would be moved to Williams-Brice
Stadium, then to three sites and then back to Memorial Stadium. C.A. Johnson and Keenan would join later and
remain as current members. Spring Valley,
Richland Northeast, Irmo, Chapin, Heathwood Hall, Hammond,
Cardinal Newman, Ben Lippen , Lexington,
Airport, Fairfield Central, Qrangeburg-Wilkinson and Swansea would also participate in SPORTSARAMA. Events that would be part of SPORTSARAMA
would be a pre-game cheer off, a tea and the Mr. and Miss. SPORTSARAMA candidates
would participate in fashion show.
Young men and women – football players, band members, cheer
squads, the Mr. & Miss SPORTSARAMA, coaches, teachers, administrators,
announcers, officials would go on to make impacts in sports, banking,
education, the media, modeling and fashion, the military and other professions.
Many thanks to those in Richland School District 1, all of
those over all of the years - the
superintendents, athletic directors, principles, teachers, coaches from the
football and other teams, cheer squads and coaches and band and band directors
who are involved in our educational system for more than just one night. Not the least of these is the game officials
and the medical and security personnel.
Sertomans – men and women from all areas and walks - have grilled hot dogs,
sold programs and sodas thru great nights, hot nights and rainy nights and
spent hours to host and coordinate this event.
AND FANS - THANK YOU !